Thackwood Cottage wedding….
Welcome to James and Alannah’s beautiful French country themed wedding at Thackwood Cottage, also the place where Alannah grew up. Her delightful parents Murray and Karen have spent many, many hours lovingly designing two acres of English Cottage Gardens which are filled with magical fragrances, hidden pathways and many secrets to discover.
James left his home town of Wellington at a young age to pursue his very successful career as a helicopter pilot, he has lived and worked all over the world in Australia, Laos, Canada and New Zealand.
After graduating with a nursing degree, Alannah went over to Melbourne to work, (ironically little did they know at the time that James was also living in Melbourne just down the road from her). From there, Alannah worked in the UK before settling back in NZ.
James and Alannah officially met in Wellington five years ago through mutual friends and love blossomed. It’s quite fitting that these same special friends are here today as members of their bridal party to celebrate this day with them.
It’s been a busy time for James and Alannah leading up to their wedding. Ten days before they moved from New Plymouth back to their beloved Queenstown, where James has a flying job.
A gift from Alannah to James on their wedding day – very appropriate.
Meet Matt, Michael (James’ brother), James and bestman Steve. Matt came all the way from Germany to be part of this occasion (I nicknamed him Jim Carey), and Steve came from London. It was so awesome for James to have his best mates here today.
After leaving the guys, Daron and I headed to Thackwood Cottage where the girls were getting ready in the private self contained boutique cottage, a very special place tastefully decorated in a French country style and filled with the fragrance of nearby roses.
Alannah’s bouquet, draped with pearls was just lovely and just the start of pretty things to come.
Nothing like a drop of Ouzo to start the day.
So many cute and gorgeous things to photograph, always puts a smile on my face.
Pretty ladies in pink, my absolute all time favorite colour.
James gifted Alannah a lovely pearl bracelet which certainly put a huge smile on her face.
Not only was Alannah a stunning bride but she’s the kindest sweetest person with a very gentle nature, it was easy to see why she chose nursing for her career.
Love love love…
This beautiful old 1950 Cadillac convertible fitted in perfectly.
The girls decided to disappear before the guests arrive, so they went for a little joyride.
Mr Frog watching over the pond below.
Alannah’s very proud father and brother waited for the girls to arrive at the bottom of the driveway. They arrived right on time.
Little people always bring a lot of cuteness to a wedding, this is young Hadley looking super cool with his bow tie and shades.
And wee Mia, cute as a button.
Always a great moment when the bride walks up the isle and what a great isle to walk up with all the roses in full bloom.
Another lovely ceremony by celebrant Rachael Schepers, she does such a great job of making everybody feel welcome and special.
I don’t think you could ask for a more proud bestman.
Special times with special people.
Daron always seems to get the crowd going, his energy and enthusiasm are contagious.
While the guests enjoyed champagne and delicious nibbles from Gourmet Catering, we took the newlyweds for a romantic stroll though the gardens.
We found this magic little loveseat where these two couldn’t take their eyes off each other.
James proposed to Alannah a year ago at Lake Tekapo while they were living in Queenstown. Taking their bikes, they rode around the lake, the lupins were out and the lake was crystal blue. It was the perfect place for a romantic wedding proposal.
The girls and I headed down to the pond to find Daron and the guys.
It was a very hot day and the water was looking rather inviting.
The famous love heart gate.
A very excited bridal party jumped in the wedding cars and we headed for the Nelson Boulder Bank – go girls!
Daron did the manly thing and lay on the road for this shot, he’s great like that.
Nothing like a nice cold beer with your mates on the wedding day.
The bridal party watch as the newlyweds get intimate in the long grass.
It was just magic down on the rocks with billowing clouds in the distance and waves crashing in. I always feel so lucky to live in such an amazing and scenic part of the world, we have so much beauty surrounding us and sometimes it’s just great to soak it all in.
Love this shot of Darons, I’m sure this is going to be a full page in their photobook which I’m very excited about designing soon.
Back at the reception at Thackwood Cottage we were treated to the yummiest meal catered by John Appleman from The Grape Escape Cafe, followed by some very hilarious speeches.
This is such a great time to capture the guests expressions.
See, told you that Matt looks like Jim Carey (hehe sorry Matt).
For the reception a large marquee had been erected on a peace of land above the gardens with a spectacular sea view in the distance. This land had been specially prepared by Murray and Karen for Alannah’s wedding and I’m sure that it will be used for many more weddings to come.
Gorgeous detail everywhere and everything looked just so amazing, well done Murray and Karen for making your daughters dream wedding come true.
The light was starting to drop off and as previously planned with James and Alannah, we jumped in the four wheel drive and headed further up the farm to capture a Nelson sunset.
It was pretty magical up here.
While I was writing this today, Alannah was speaking with Daron on the phone. She mentioned that the guests came out of the marque and were watching Alannah’s veil flying in the air as the sun went down, they thought that it was very cool and something that you don’t always see at a wedding.
So many stunning shots, it was hard to choose which ones to put up on Storybook.
It’s been an awesome day for James and Alannah and I’m sure a day they will never forget, as Alannah said “well worth every minute of planning”.
This is where Daron and I sat and enjoyed a delightful meal and a cold beer – magic!
The dancing got started with the very talented Anthony from “Dog on a Bonnet”. Now this guy can sing and it wasn’t long before the dance floor was pumping.
Murray and Karen hold a lot of weddings at Thackwood Cottage and they get to meet lots of wedding photographers. It was such a privilage to be part of their daughters special day.
With the dancing in full swing and the moon shining out between the clouds, we said our goodbyes and headed home from yet another fantastic wedding. James and Alannah, we hope you had an amazing honeymoon in Thailand and are enjoying living back in Queenstown, can’t wait to start designing your photobook.
Daron and Chrissy X
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